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Powerbeats 3 Wireless | Review

Overview
Reviewed

25 January 2017

Launched

October 2016

Design

Improved ergonomic design
Open-air earphones
Sweat & water resistant
Colours: Black, blue, pink, yellow, white

Ecosystem

Apple W1 Chip

Ease of use

Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch & Mac, iOS 10, Watch OS 3, Inline controls, remote & mic, RemoteTalk, Siri, Hands-Free calls

Connectivity

Class 1 Bluetooth up to 30 ft, wireless, Micro USB port

Battery

Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
Up to 12 hours battery life
Fast Fuel quick charge

Portability

24 grams
Cable management clip
Hard carry-case

Sound Quality

Clear, powerful, dynamic sound
Immersive listening experience
High-performance Beats sound
Dual-driver acoustics

Durability

Premium level materials

Comfort

4 ear-tip sizes
Secure-Fit earhooks
Adjustable earhooks

Positives

Great battery life
Good Bluetooth connection
Comfortable fit

Negatives

Expensive
Minimal upgrades

Our Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
-Design
9.8
10
-Ecosystem
9.6
9.5
-Ease of use
9.7
10
-Connectivity
9.7
10
-Battery
9.5
9.5
-Portability
8.9
9.0
-Sound Quality
9.3
9.5
-Durability
8.9
9.0
-Comfort
9.1
9.5
The Last Word

Powerbeats 3 Wireless easily sit among the best wireless in-ear headphones available today. While not much has changed in terms of design since Powerbeats 2, the new W1 chip has elevated the Powerbeats 3 Wireless to the next level with a stronger wireless connection and better battery life. The wireless earphones will work with any Bluetooth enabled device but if you are an Apple lover and want a set of wireless in-ear headphones the Powerbeats 3 Wireless are they way to go. With the iconic Beats stylish design and excellent Bluetooth connection the Powerbeats 3 are worth a look. Some may find the Beats sound too heavy on the bass, though with strong mids and crisp highs, all genre's sound good, it comes down to taste.

9.4
Our Rating
9.6
User Rating
You have rated this

The Review

A look at Powerbeats 3 Wireless, what’s changed from Powerbeats 2 Wireless?

read the full review ...

Design

With Powerbeats 2 Wireless ranking among the best wireless in-ear headphones it’s not surprising Beats decided to just slightly tweak the design rather than give a whole new look…..why fix it if it’s not broken, right! At a glance the earphones look the same however Beats have made some slight adjustments for a more improved ergonomic design. Powerbeats earhook is one of it’s best features, making for a very comfortable and secure fit; and while Beats have not changed this design, they have lengthened the arm slightly and altered the angle for an even more comfortable fit and a design that should fit more users a lot better. As with the original Powerbeats and all in-ear headphones the Powerbeats 3 Wireless are an open-air earphone, meaning they and your ears are more exposed to the elements and external noise. However, Beats have made the Powerbeats 3 sweat and water resistant, so you can take them running and not worry about getting caught out in the rain or sweating a lot in an intense workout. If you love Beats headphones you will expect to see a pop of colour and though the Powerbeats 3 don’t have the same canvas as their brother, Beats Solo 3, you can get the wireless earphones with a touch of blue, pink or yellow and of course they come in the classic all black or white. While the design has nothing new to offer, we loved the Powerbeats 2 Wireless so we’re not too peeved that there’s nothing too exciting to write about here.

Ecosystem

Similar to it’s cousin, the Apple AirPods, Powerbeats 3 Wireless come with the new and improved Apple W1 chip, which has been designed just for headphones. The W1 chip allows the Powerbeats 3 connect to any Apple device seamlessly and it also very power efficient to ensure a longer battery life. The W1 chip is one of Apples best improvements for it’s headphones, it’s smart, fast and smooth.

Ease of Use

Powerbeats 3 Wireless are compatible with the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac, they will also work with any Android or Bluetooth enabled device but as they are designed specifically for Apple you may find the odd kink in on-line controls or connectivity. Apple’s new and improved W1 chip has made connecting to your Apple device extremely easy, once it’s paired to the device initially you can just tap-to-connect and if you want to switch to another Apple device just hold the Powerbeats 3 close to the device or tap again to connect, it couldn’t be easier. While using the Powerbeats 3 you have the new, slimmer inline controls which have a remote and mic, to allow you to skip and pause tracks or adjust volume. You can also use RemoteTalk to take hand’s free calls and talk to Siri to get directions or answer a text, or what ever you usually talk to Siri about. Apple has really worked on making their earphones easy to use with a strong wireless connection and the Powerbeats 3 Wireless are a great example of this.

Connectivity

The Powerbeats 3 support Class 1 Bluetooth wireless connectivity up to 30 feet and thanks to Apple’s W1 chip I mentioned earlier, connectivity is strong and seamless among any of your Apple devices. The Bluetooth connection is among the strongest I’ve tested and I had no issues with any of my Apple devices or indeed the Android device I tested, though my Android testing was limited.

Battery

Beats have packs the Powerbeats 3 with  rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery that it claims gives you up to 12 hours battery life, which is actually pretty accurate and a very good battery life for small in-ear headphones. Depending on your daily usage you will get a few days before needing to plug the wireless headphones in for a charge, however if you get caught short the Powerbeats 3 support Fast Fuel quick charge which gives you an hour battery life after just five minutes charge. The Powerbeats 3 are charged via a Micro USB port rather than a lightening cable, which may change with the next release.

Portability

Weighing a mere 24 grams the Powerbeats 3 are extremely light and portable, very comfortable to wear for hours on end. Beats have also given the wireless earphones a connecting cable so you can hang the earphones around your neck when you’re not using them and adds comfort if the Powerbeats 3 did slip, however unlikely, it should stay on your neck. The cable also comes with a handy cable management clip which allows you to tighten the Powerbeats 3 to your head which again increases the secure fit on your head, especially for joggers. Beats have provided a hard carry-case to protect the Powerbeats 3 when you want to store them away or bring them in a bag.

Sound Quality

The Powerbeats 3 Wireless give a clear, powerful, and dynamic sound and thanks to the earhook design with soft ear-tips the Powerbeats 3 securely fit into your ear for an immersive listening experience. Due to the open-air design you do not get any sort of noise cancellation, which is to be expected with any in-ear headphones however with Beats dual-driver acoustics you can enjoy the high-performance Beats sound even on busy streets, though you may need to pump up the volume a bit. Some have reported issues with volume, or that the Powerbeats 3 are not as loud as Powerbeats 2, however while testing I did not find this at all, I found the Powerbeats to pack as much volume as I wanted, even to drown out some external noise on a busy train. That said, when I had the Powerbeats 3 at full volume there was some distortion, sound was not as clear and crisp as I would like. However, at a normal volume level you will find the highs to be very crisp with loud mids so you can hear every word from your favourite singer; bass is strong and very present, not so much that it drowns out the mids and highs but it is a little overpowering, something some may find a little too much.

Durability

While Beats use premium level materials, previously some reported Powerbeats 2 were not too durable, not fragile but you wouldn’t want to sit on them. Beats say they have made the Powerbeats 3 a lot more durable though we do not have any details to validate this….. I still wouldn’t sit on them and would recommend you use the hard carry case when transporting them or when they’re not in use.

Comfort

Beats provide 4 ear-tip sizes to suit a wide variety of users, this combined with the adjustable, Secure-Fit earhooks means the Powerbeats 3 are a very comfortable, secure fit. Beats have designed the Powerbeats 3 for sports and recreations use, not only are they comfortable to wear while sitting at your desk listening to music but also while out jogging. Beats have designed these wireless earphones beautifully.

Powerbeats3 wireless black front
Powerbeats3 wireless black front
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Powerbeats3 wireless black front side back
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Powerbeats3 wireless black side close
Powerbeats3 wireless black side close
Powerbeats3 wireless blue back front
Powerbeats3 wireless blue back front
Powerbeats3 wireless blue back front
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Powerbeats3 wireless blue top close
Powerbeats3 wireless blue top close
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Powerbeats3 wireless blue back close
Powerbeats3 wireless blue back close
Powerbeats3 wireless yellow back front
Powerbeats3 wireless yellow back front
Powerbeats3 wireless yellow back front
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Powerbeats3 wireless yellow top close
Powerbeats3 wireless yellow top close
Powerbeats3 wireless white back front
Powerbeats3 wireless white back front
Powerbeats3 wireless white back front
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Powerbeats3 wireless pink back front close
Powerbeats3 wireless pink back front close
Powerbeats3 wireless pink back close
Powerbeats3 wireless pink back close
Powerbeats3 wireless pink back close
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Powerbeats3 wireless pink top close
Powerbeats3 wireless pink top close
Powerbeats3 wireless pink side front control
Powerbeats3 wireless pink side front control
Powerbeats3 wireless pink side front control
Powerbeats3 wireless black on guy
Powerbeats3 wireless black on guy
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Powerbeats3 wireless black on guy tie back
Powerbeats3 wireless black on guy tie back
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Powerbeats3 wireless black on girl
Powerbeats3 wireless black on girl
Powerbeats3 wireless feature
Powerbeats3 wireless feature
Powerbeats3 wireless feature
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What others are saying ...

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Beats Powerbeats3 Wireless headphones: Better, but how much better?
The Powerbeats3 Wireless adds better battery life and Apple's W1 wireless chip for easy iPhone pairing. But is it otherwise any different from the Powerbeats2?

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About The Author
Lynne Pettre
Reviewing the latest tech in Ireland and across the globe.